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June 4, 2006
RCMP Went Undercover For Raid

The Toronto Star reports this morning that the RCMP itself sold the Toronto terror cell the three tons of ammonium nitrate it planned to use for devastating attacks on Canada. The Mounties moved to capture all of the suspects as soon as the deal for the fertilizer concluded:

The delivery of three tonnes of ammonium nitrate to a group suspected of plotting terrorist attacks in southern Ontario was part of an undercover police sting operation, the Toronto Star has learned.

The RCMP said yesterday that after investigating the alleged homegrown terrorist cell for months, they had to move quickly Friday night to arrest 12 men and five youths before the group could launch a bomb attack on Canadian soil.

Sources say investigators who had learned of the group's alleged plan to build a bomb were controlling the sale and transport of the massive amount of fertilizer, a key component in creating explosives. Once the deal was done, the RCMP-led anti-terrorism task force moved in for the arrests. ...

It's still unclear how the group of suspects is connected and police yesterday offered few details of its alleged activities. But sources close to the investigation told the Star that the investigation began in2004 when CSIS began monitoring fundamentalist Internet sites and their users.

They later began monitoring a group of young men, and the RCMP launched a criminal investigation. Police allege the group later picked targets and plotted attacks. Last winter some members of the group, including the teenagers, went to a field north of the city, where they allegedly trained for an attack and made a video imitating warfare.Sources said some of the younger members forged letters about a bogus school trip to give to their parents so they could attend.

That probably means that they have everyone in custody they want. The RCMP has clearly taken its time to hook these fish, and for that matter knew which bait to use.

From the description of the Star, the suspects had long since progressed from mere campfire talk to active preparation for attacks. Earlier reports had only mentioned a list of targets, something that could have been argued as merely childish spitballing among friends. If the RCMP has videos of training and the notes used by some of the younger suspects to lie about their whereabouts, it shows a much more explicit commitment to the conspiracy.

Predictably, the attorneys continue to lament the focus on Muslims while the Canadian government tries to pretend it doesn't exist. Both gain themselves little credibility in either effort. Luc Portelance of the CSIS, whom one presumes knows better, tapdanced around motivation in statements yesterday:

Yesterday, officials offered few details about the suspects or how they met, saying only they come from a "variety of backgrounds" and represented a broad strata, including students, the employed and unemployed.

"It is important to know that this operation in no way reflects negatively on any specific community or ethnocultural group in Canada," said Portelance. "Terrorism is a dangerous ideology, and a global phenomenon. ... Canada is not immune from this ideology."

When asked why Canadians would want to attack targets in Canada, Portelance said: "Clearly, they're motivated by some of the things we see around the world," he said.

"They're against the Western influences in Islamic countries and have an adherence to violence to reach a political objective. But as far as the specific motivators, I think they probably change from individual to individual."

Yes, he offered more of the "broad strata" argument. However, where Portelance sees a clear connection to world events, the rest of us mere mortals only need to scan the list of suspects to understand that all of these Canadians are Muslims. In most investigations, at least pre-political correctness, that kind of connection would be determinative. When three mouthbreathing morons dragged James Byrd to his death in Texas, their racism made clear what their motivation was, even though there are plenty of racists who would never have gone that far with their hateful ideology. No one much doubted the motive, and law enforcement didn't pretend Byrd's grotesque murder had some inspiration from "world events". When Eric Rudolph blew up abortion clinics and eventually was discovered to have detonated the Atlanta Olympic bomb, no one thought that he found motivation from "world events". Why do Western governments find it so difficult to abandon this transparent folly?

Sometimes, as Sigmund Freud once famously remarked, a cigar is just a cigar.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 4, 2006 8:19 AM

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» Capacity and Intent from A Blog For All
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Tracked on June 4, 2006 11:50 AM


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